Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books
So, What's It like to Be a Cat?

So, What's It like to Be a Cat?

Spring 2005 Picture Books
Ages: 3 - 8 yrs.
Author: Karla Kuskin
Illustrator: Betsy Lewin
ISBN: 0-689-84733-5
Hardcover Price: $15.95
The fun begins on the half title page with a chalkboard message: "TODAY'S ASSIGNMENT: AN INTERVIEW." Notebook and pencil in hand, a young boy proceeds to question his cat. "And once you're curled you will not stir / but nap compactly wrapped in fur?" he asks, to which his feline friend replies, "Meow. / And how." It's hard to know which to appreciate more in this winning collaboration: Kuskin's clever unexpected way with words or Lewin's explosive expressive felines...peering, peeking, preening, pirouetting...slinking, springing, stretching, snoozing. In any event, this duo certainly proves that "Cats have moods like many creatures / mothers, fathers, tigers, teachers." And what do cats think of humans? "At times they're dumb. / At times they're sweet. / They balance nicely on their feet." And who can say truer than that!
Kristi Elle Jemtegaard   ©2005 Parents' Choice
Kristi Elle Jemtegaard is the Coordinator of Youth Services for the Arlington Public Library system. She has taught courses on children’s and young adult literature at the Catholic University of America and the University of Virginia. She has served on both the Newbery and Caldecott Award Committees of the American Library Association and has chaired the Notable Children’s Recordings Committee and the May Hill Arbuthnot Award Committee. She is a member and past president of the Children’s Book Guild of Washington DC and has chaired the Washington Post–Book Guild Nonfiction Award Committee. She is a founding member of Capitol Choices, an organization of professionals in the field of children’s literature in the greater Washington DC area. She regularly reviews children’s literature and audio productions for a variety of national publications.

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